News reports from Parkland, Florida; Andrews University; Bolivia; Denver, Colorado; La Sierra University; Vanuatu; Kailua, Hawaii; and Loma Linda University Health

An Adventist teen is among the students wounded in the attack at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, on February 14 which killed 17 people. The incident has sparked massive demonstrations against unregulated distribution of guns across the United States. Samantha Grady is still healing from wounds from two bullets. She is a member of the Pompano Beach Seventh-day Adventist Church and recently participated in the Pathfinder Bible Quiz event. A gifted soloist, pianist and viola player, Grady also took time to praise God with her supportive church family. “My faith has brought me through this trial,” said Grady. “It’s a big part of who I am and I’m not afraid to talk about it or share it.”

Denominational administrators, Ministerial Association leaders and religion faculty from Adventist universities and colleges met at Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Michigan this week. The focus was the future preparation and resources for Adventist clergy in North America. Dr. Jiri Moskala, dean of the seminary at Andrews, introduced a new book dealing with the issue of last generation theology which was co-written by a group of Adventist scholars. It is entitled “God’s Character and the Last Generation” and published by Pacific Press

A new branch of the Geoscience Research Institute (GRI) operated by the Adventist denomination has been opened at Bolivia Adventist University in Cochabamba. Dr. Marcos Natal de Souza Costa has been appointed director and an associate director of education for the South American Division. He is a geologist and has been manager of the GRI center at the Sao Paulo Adventist University in Brazil.

The Associated Press reported that a limited number of surgeries are resuming at Porter Adventist Hospital in Denver, a week after surgeries were halted at the facility due to problems with the cleaning of its surgical instruments. The surgeries restarted after the hospital made some changes recommended by the state health department. Colorado’s chief medical officer, Larry Wolk, confirmed that an unspecified number of patients who had surgeries at Porter since July 21, 2016 had surgical site infections although authorities are not sure if the infections are linked to the condition of the instruments. The health department is still investigating. Last week, the hospital notified patients that the sterilization breach could have put patients at risk of Hepatitis B or C, or HIV.

The H.M.S. Richards Divinity School at La Sierra University has had its accreditation renewed for a full ten years by the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada (ATS). This covers graduate degrees in pastoral ministry, theology, religion and Biblical archaeology. It includes the satellite program located at the office of the denomination’s Central California Conference in Clovis as well as the university’s main campus in Riverside. The school is named after the famous Adventist radio evangelist from California.

Flash floods have destroyed an Adventist community at Waluebue village, North Ambae, Vanuatu. The village was hit by the floods on Saturday morning, March 31. Homes, the Adventist church, the community hall and the school were all destroyed. The South Pacific’s Adventist Record publication reported that Vanuatu Mission Secretary, Pastor Charlie Jimmy said many people lost everything except the clothes they were wearing as the floods hit. “It is heartbreaking to see the entire village covered in big rocks and soil from 5 to 10 metres high,” he said. The one hundred and fifteen people living in the village have been rendered homeless and have been temporarily relocated to nearby Waluriki, another Adventist village. ADRA Vanuatu is helping to provide relief to those affected.

Kailua, Hawaii’s Adventist Health Castle was honored with the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award at the annual Quest for Excellence Conference in Baltimore, Md., on April 8. Undersecretary of Commerce for Standards and Technology and Director, National Institute of Standards and Technology, Walter G. Copan, presented the award to President and CEO of Adventist Health Castle, Kathy Raethal and the hospital’s Quality Improvement Coordinator, Steve Bovey. This marks the first time a Hawaiian healthcare organization has won the award. It is also a first for an Adventist Health facility. The award is the nation’s highest Presidential honor for performance excellence. Castle won this year’s award for the healthcare category.

Loma Linda University Health has announced that Warren Boling, MD, professor of neurosurgery and chairman of the department of neurosurgery at Loma Linda University Health was presented with the 2018 Golden Axon Award by the Society for Brain Mapping & Therapeutics and Brain Mapping Foundation. The organization presents annual awards to pioneers in the field of science, technology and medicine. The Society for Brain Mapping & Therapeutics is a non-profit biomedical association focused on brain mapping and intra-operative surgical planning. Brain mapping is the study of the anatomy and function of the brain and spinal cord through the use of several advanced technologies.

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